CODEX Part 4: Among the Living

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Dialogue with a Possessed Man

The precinct was not far from her new university so most of the time, Zoe would simply walk there. It was sunny outside and warm. It was a new city with a lot of possibilities; it was the city everyone would run off to either to hide or to make themselves renowned. Zoe was there mainly to hide but also to discover what she ardently fought for in Hell.

For the whole 30 minutes walk, her eyes fell over every detail that humans were not able to see. She probably never noticed the differences before because she was too blinded by her selfishness but she could see it now. Zoe could see life zooming from one side to the other, emotions and slight trembles of the soul- everything in each and every human. It was both beautiful and sad because she knew she will never be able to walk down the street and look like that, not with
Lucifer’s eyes still strongly imprinted in her mind.

Once she entered through the doors of the precinct, it felt like everything was left outside. That building was the new beginning she craved for, the new world in which she could help others without using ghosts or demons. Being a profiler was achieving for the soul and her soul needed it.

“A bit early, aren’t you? Greedy for a promotion?”

That was a joke even if he did not make it sound like one. Officer Ralph Eastchurch was one very serious guy, graduating the academy with flying colors and even serving in the military for a few years. His knees weren’t as good as before so he returned for a desk job even if he was barely 40 years old.

“Why would she want a promotion? She wouldn’t work with me anymore.”

That was him, detective Roberts. Zoe wasn’t sure if he was taking his job seriously for most of the time and she didn’t want to know what he was doing in his free time, if he had any. Just like every day, he had a lollipop in his mouth, sucking on it slowly. One candy would keep him busy for a few hours so there may be a lot of training behind it.

“Aren’t you content working with me, Lestrade?” He asked, wrapping one hand around her. His grasp was a bit tight and it only tightened when she didn’t answer.

“She’s not responding. Silence is an answer too, Roberts.”

The Detective didn’t like that but instead of getting mad he pulled her after him towards his office.

“You know that’s not true. I work here because of you and I wouldn’t want to work with someone else.” She mumbled shyly.

The detective chuckled and crossed his arms in front of his chest while leaning against his desk.

“That’s because I let you do whatever you want. There are times I wonder why I do that myself.”
He started while also going around his desk and taking something off it. He glanced at her, rolling the lollipop in his mouth thoughtfully before humming to himself.

“Is there a case you want to give me or…?” She was confused.

“There’s this man accused of murdering his wife and 16 years old child. He says he has no recollection of the murder but we found proof that he did it.” Roberts started.

“Then where is the problem?” She asked nonchalantly.

“We have only found his wife’s corpse but not the child.” The detective answered, walking towards her and giving her the file.

“Who dialed 911?” She asked, looking at his profile.

“He did.”

Zoe raised an eyebrow, her interest quirking at the sudden information.


With the sudden interest in the case, Roberts led Zoe to the murder suspect and let her enter the interrogation room. The officer already inside was furious for different reasons but mainly because the suspect was changing his testimony all the time.

Zoe walked in and sat across the suspect with a poker face. She placed the file in front of her and opened it, going over the essentials.

“Name: Frank Goldfield. Age: 45. Occupation: unemployed. Family: deceased wife and a child that may or may not be dead. Suspect of murdering his wife and probably his child. You confessed once before you started to write testimonies after testimonies, either lying or having a mental issue. Am I correct, Mr. Goldfield?” She asked, looking at him only for a brief moment before looking down again.

“I didn’t do anything.” He said, seemingly scared but not of her. “I didn’t do anything, you hear me!” He screamed, probably at the officer that questioned him before her.

“I’m not deaf, Mr. Goldfield. You don’t have to shout anything, everyone can hear you clearly. I would like it if you could speak to me not to my colleague.” She continued, looking up at him with a calm expression.

The man stared at her with wide eyes for a few minutes before he nodded. He suddenly looked hopeful for some reason.

“Then help me. I didn’t kill my wife and I don’t know where my son is. I’m telling you the truth.”
He seemed to beg for her to believe him, going as far as reaching out to her.

But she didn’t move an inch. The man was looking at her but not into her eyes. Maybe she was a bit intimidating with her whole profiling attitude. However, she wasn’t really doing her job at the moment but more like trying to find the truth in between the lines.

“What should we do then, Mr. Goldfield? Your prints are all over the place and most importantly, on the murder weapon. That’s hard evidence. You also dialed 911 and you said, and I quote,’ I killed my family’. How do you explain that?” She asked, her tone never wavering.

The man looked down at his hands, shaking his head when he thought about something. It looked like he had an inner struggle of some sorts and it wasn’t useful for neither of them. Zoe needed him to speak out loud.

“My wife was a wonderful woman. Even when I lost my job she just kept encouraging me. But with our son getting into a better school, he started to ask for money.”

“Of course. Children aren’t aware of the hardships their parents go through because they also have their own issues they need help with. I read here that your son’s quite bright for his age. You must be really proud.” She changed the path, slightly.

“Yes, yes,” The man smiled at the memory of his son, “Wonderful kid. Very smart. My wife decided to send him to a better school, one in Manhattan. The costs were bigger but at least he’d have a better life than we did.”

“And? Did he?” She asked, already having an idea how the rest of the story would turn out.

“Yes. He was happy even if he didn’t have any time to go out with his friends anymore. He was happy.”

It was taking a tool on him and she was sure there was more to speak of about his son. But that wasn’t what she was hoping to hear from him.

“I’m sure he started to ask for money since the costs were growing. Your job could never cover both your living expenses and his education but you could do it for a while. But then, I’m sure your son found a friend or two and he asked to go out with them. He was a teenager.”

“Still is! My son is not dead!” The man screamed angrily.

“But your wife is. She’s dead and your son is missing. Did you kill her or are you covering up for-“

“My son is not a murderer!” The man shouted again, jumping on his feet in a fit of rage. “My son is not a murderer!” He repeated as he tried to get his handcuffs off, “I’m not either! I’m not a murderer!”

Mr. Goldfield was being fired up and two officers were needed to calm him down. While the two were doing their best to keep him handcuffed and not hurt himself, Zoe saw something peculiar at the man, something that she could see until then because he was sitting.

“It’s alright. I will calm down since I angered him in the first place.” She said slowly, waiting patiently for the officers to leave.

Before saying anything else, she looked where the cameras were situated. One was right behind her while the other was across the room, in a corner.

“I didn’t kill anyone and you will better not speak badly about my son!”

Zoe’s eyes moved on him as she closed the file and put it aside. The brunette crossed her hands on the table and smiled softly. It was a bit perturbing but the man, thinking that she was playing some game with him, immediately leaned towards her.

“You’re right, Mr. Goldfield. You didn’t kill anyone.” She started, shocking the suspect, “You didn’t. It’s really simple really; I’m not sure how I didn’t notice it early. You’re not a murderer, Frank.”
There was something strange when she called him by his name. It felt annoying but at the same time, it felt familiar.

“Murderers don’t call the police after they kill someone. If they want someone to know, they use the press or someone that won’t be able to get them caught. Usually, if they feel guilty, they call someone they know and feel regretful or sorry towards. Did you call your son?”

The man shook his head, disregarding the idea completely.

“Of course you didn’t. Your son is probably dead as well.” She added, seeing anger return on his face, “But, Frank, that’s not important. I’m sure you tried your hardest to keep your family afloat but once you got fired, the expenses were piling up in a matter of days. No job could give you enough money and you didn’t want to commit any crime. Or did you?”

She was taunting him with everything, going from his family to his financial issues and in the end-

“Your life worth nothing. You’re nothing. But your family worth more than anything in this world and you wanted to give them everything. You wanted them to be happy no matter the costs so you did something, didn’t you?” As she was speaking, she leaned towards him, her eyes narrowing slightly, “You went to someone and you made a deal. You were so desperate that even you begun thinking that your life is worthless. So you gave it away.” She whispered.

Mr. Goldfield’s eyes widened, suddenly finding her strange and the situation he was in very uncomfortable. He started to shift in his seat but he couldn’t leave. He was handcuffed.

“The handcuffs around your arms cannot compare to the chain around your neck.” She said, her voice lowering, “When that chain will be pulled, it will tighten around your neck and you won’t be able to breathe anymore. You’ll lose any sense in your body and eventually lose control over your soul. You will still be there, somewhere, watching as your own body does something. You’ll be able to remember but what good will that be if you cannot absolve yourself of the crimes you already committed?”

“Wh-what are you talking about?” He asked, sweating heavily under her gaze.

“Some people can see that chain, Frank. I can see it.” She said before pointing to him to move closer. Out of curiosity maybe, he did. “I can see your tail too. I can see your soul, Frank.” She whispered.

The man screamed loudly and almost fell off the chair.

“Wh-who are you?! What are you talking about?!”

But it was already too late. She could see past the barriers of one’s body and even reach the agreement tattooed on his shoulder.

“I’m talking about the inverted pentagram on your shoulder.” She said loud enough for him to hear but not enough for the cameras to record.

The man’s eyes widened and he hurried back on the chair, grabbing her hands with his and holding them desperately.

“I didn’t want it to end like this. I only asked for help, for a job! They asked me to sign a contract and I thought I was an employment contract. I read it twice and I swear there was nothing weird about it. But after I signed it, I felt this sudden breeze. It was fine until last night when I had an argument with my wife. I heard him whisper in my ear.” He said before shuddering and starting to cry, “He told me that my problems will be gone if I let him help me. I thought it was just my imagination but when I went to bed, I-“

“You fell into sub consciousness and he took care of the problem for you. You have already given your consent when you signed. Not everyone can hear the whispers.” She added, the man nodding along. “What about your son? Where was he?”

“He wasn’t at home when I went to bed. What if-what if I-I-“ The man was a crying mess by now.
His life turned upside down in one night and no matter how innocent he was, his hands committed the crime.

“Your son is not at school and not at home. The police can’t find him, Frank.” She continued, her voice returning somewhat to normal.

But the man was already buried in guilt and regret. He was only deepening into the hole that he made for himself and the chain around his neck was tightening. Seeing how he was being pulled into unconsciousness, Zoe prepared herself for what was worse. She really wanted to leave but they had to know where his son was.

“Where is the son?” she asked after a few minutes. Frank stopped crying and looked like he had a lot to think about. Eventually, he looked up at her with empty eyes and spoke.

“You seem to care a lot for this son. Was he yours to care of?” Frank’s voice was different, still his but the fluctuations a normal human had while talking were gone. His voice was like the straight line on a heart monitor.

“It wasn’t yours to get rid of.” She answered, her tone lowering as well. The one she was talking to was not worthy of speaking to with any type of politeness.

“I have every right over this man, little girl. I am his contractor. He gave himself to me.” He spoke so casually about it.

“He didn’t sign a contract that he could read. Humans can’t read them so they make up their own. Isn’t that how it goes?” She asked, leaning her chin on her hands.

“You know a lot about the world, don’t you? What did you do? Sign a bad contract when you were young and greedy?” Frank’s pupils dilated as he spoke. A small grin was forming on his lips, impossible to miss with the way he was acting.

“I’m still young and greedy. Aren’t you offering me one as well?” She asked, taunting him with her eyes.

Frank chuckled wildly before he hovered over the table, forcing her to move back.

“Should I? I’m not usually going after the greedy ones. I’m more interested in anger issues. This man here had a lot and his son, oh his son was not as innocent as he appeared.” Seeing how she didn’t say anything, he continued, “Once I sliced that pale neck, so feminine and easy to break, I heard the front door open. Surprise! The precious son came late and in one disturbing state. If I were his father, I would have punished him. Oh! Wait! I am!”

The way he was telling the story was not the same way she hoped the case will go. Zoe was surprised she could keep so calm when there was a demon in front of her, taking care to show off even when his victim was restrained.

“I punished him the same way I used to get punished,” Frank continued, leaning closer to her face,
“The same way I’ll punish you for making me come out.” He hissed, licking his lips with a new glint in his eyes.

“Do I look scared, Frank?” She asked without a single drop of fear in her voice.

“No. Not yet.” Frank answered, grinning from ear to ear.

“That’s because I’m not and will never be. You can’t hurt me, Frank. I’m sorry to disappoint you.” She added, seeing the confusion on his face. “Now, Frank, please, sit down.”

Right after she invited him to sit, her eyes changed for a second as she pushed him back. There was something coming out from her hands, a force that pushed the man down but the demon fell out of the body. Frank came back to his senses, in a way, while the demon looked at Zoe with wide eyes.

“You,” He whispered, “You’re her, aren’t you? The one they’re afraid of. You’re Lucifer’s inheritor.”

Hearing that name and that status, Zoe felt her palm itch. The cloth covering the endless knot was shining and it caught the demon’s attention. He looked at her before he vanished but unfortunately, his mark was still imprinted on Frank’s soul.

Already panicked that Roberts has seen her shining hand, she got up and turned to the camera behind her.

“The son’s dead body was thrown in a garbage can around the block.” She said loudly before opening the door towards the outside world. Before leaving, she glanced at Frank and smiled sadly,
“That chain will never disappear, Mr. Goldfield. It will only tighten until you will give up and give your soul to Hell.”

“That was deep, Lestrade,” Detective Roberts started, finding his subordinate in his office, looking at nothing in particular. “But he confessed and told us exactly where his son’s body is. We might give you a badge and make you a detective in the near future.”

Roberts joked but Zoe didn’t respond and definitely didn’t laugh.

“Can I leave for an hour or so? I need to visit someone.” She said as she finally looked at him.

It surprised the detective but he was sure they could survive without Lestrade for an hour or two. He nodded and she left quicker than expected.

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